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Driving Higher Performance with Ultra-high Solids Epoxy Systems for Long-term Asset Protection
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Driving Higher Performance with Ultra-high Solids Epoxy Systems for Long-term Asset Protection

Product Number: 51218-162-SG
Author: Daniel Totev
Publication Date: 2018

Epoxy coatings have a long and successful track record in marine and protective coatings, due to the combined offerings of excellent corrosion and chemical resistance. As regional environmental drivers become firmly established, the industry is faced with the constant challenge of providing solutions which can comply with emerging VOC regulations. There is a continuous trend to move the technology from the so-called conventional paint to high solids coatings, and more recently, to ultra-high solids coatings [1]. At the same time the overall performance attributes associated with high performance epoxy systems need to be either maintained or improved depending on specific industrial application needs. Many current high solids epoxy systems use non-reactive plasticizers such as benzyl alcohol or alkyl phenols to enable full chemical conversion of the polymer matrix. While this approach allows for reduced solvent demand, such products do not always address the market need for extended service life. The use of fugitive plasticizers can cause the coating to lose its flexibility over time as the plasticizer leaches out. In order to address this, a different plasticization approach to lower solvent requirement and ensure complete cure is needed. This paper will review the basics of high solids epoxy coatings compared to conventional epoxy technologies and describe the fundamental technical differences. It will also present new versatile amine curing agent technology that offers solutions to develop coatings compliant with stringent emission test accreditation, and at the same time, addresses many of the technical challenges associated with high solids systems. Furthermore, the absence of nonreactive plasticizers facilitates long-term conservation of the mechanical properties of the coating, and hence, helps deliver long-term asset protection.